How to Check Copy Machines and Do Preventative Maintenance

Maintaining and troubleshooting your office photocopier will help increase the longevity of the machine and reduce service call costs. Copiers can be intimidating and people often are afraid to work on them. They are actually simple to fix and most of the problems come from a simple jam that can be easily cleared. Keeping your machine clean will prevent many jams from occurring and the copies will be clear without lines or other marks.

Read the display to find any information such as a jam or miss-feed. The display will tell you the location of the problem and often gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fix it.

Open the doors to the areas where the jams occur. Clear any paper in the paths and wipe away excess paper dust.

Remove the paper drawers and look for paper stuck behind or underneath them. You may need to use a flashlight to see into the back of the machine. Check to make sure that there is not too much paper in the drawers.

Close all doors and drawers. Check the display again to see if the jam or miss-feed has been corrected.

Turn off the power to reset the machine if you cannot find any source of paper that has caused a jam. Turn the machine back on and allow it to warm up. Sometimes there is no actual problem and a sensor just needs to be reset.

Check the level of the toner. This should be indicated on the display screen. Replace the toner cartridge if it is very low.

Clean the glass and rollers to remove lines from the copies. Use any special spray that may come with the copier. If lines still remain, that could indicate that a part (usually a drum or fuser) needs to be replaced.


  • Ask your copier technician to give you advice on common repairs and troubleshooting that you can do.


  • Do not attempt to fix any electrical problems. Call for service for complicated repairs.